Principal and Leadership Team Institute, Burbank – September 27, 2006

Winter 2007 | | January 21, 2007 at 6:26 pm

Almeria Middle School, Fontana Unified School District

The School Leadership Team uses AVID strategies to emphasize organization, goal setting and support for high school success, including college and career research. The AVID program evolution/expansion began with teacher support and buy in. Now Cornell notes are used school-wide and 95% of the teachers are AVID trained.

Best Practices

To promote college-going, teachers show students how to calculate a Grade Point Average (GPA) at the beginning of the school year.

Teachers illustrate with a chart how the A-G college admission requirements compare to the Fontana Unified School District high school graduation requirements and use the California State University guide, “How to Get to College.”

Almeria Middle School Counselor Debbie Simpson, Assistant Principal/Site Contact Kim Bente, AVID teacher Heather Rhodes, and AVID Coordinator Dennis Dragotto stand before their school’s college pennant display, one of their methods to promote college-going.

Gage Middle School, Los Angeles Unified School District

One of the main challenges of becoming a college-going school in a low-income community where few people have gone to college is changing the perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs of teachers who have been at the same school for many, many years. One successful strategy of the School Leadership Team was using the School Self-Assessment Rubric (SSAR) with the entire staff to develop the school focus and to revise the school’s Vision Statement. The staff worked with trained facilitators provided through GEAR UP.

Best Practice

The college awareness activities are extensive. Every Friday, staff members and students are encouraged to wear college t-shirts, including some from colleges and universities outside of California. The school goal is to have all students—3,850 students on three tracks—wear a college shirt.

Gage Middle School staff Norma Garcia, Community Representative; Carmen Morgana, Community Representative; Linda Loya, College Counselor; Bette Caldwell, Counselor/GEAR UP Coordinator; Martin Aispuro, Clerk Technician; Antonia Guzman, AVID Elective teacher; Christina Rico, Title I Coordinator, share their perspective about GEAR UP and are recognized for their continued participation.

Northrup School, Alhambra Unified School District

Their first step in building a college-going culture was to establish the School Leadership Team after attending the GEAR UP Principal and Leadership Team Institute. Despite their initial confusion, the team took the School Self Assessment Rubric (SSAR) back to the rest of the staff and used the GEAR UP process to determine the two areas for their first year focus. The next year they were ready to focus on two other areas. The Leadership Team also set a time to meet and did not allow events to interfere with this set time for discussion.

Best Practice

Teachers work in grade level teams, using “Backwards Mapping” in which they look at a grade level standard and work backwards from there to determine how to teach that skill.

Northrup School Principal Michele Mercer, Language Arts/Science teacher Sharon Ferry, Language Arts/Science teacher Carin Gasca, and (standing) Instructional Specialist Shirley Gudal share the resources and activities used through their journey in GEAR UP.

Leave a Reply